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So hi everybody. My name is Katie. I am the notary relations director for BlueNotary. And today I have Esteban Ceron. He is a general contractor, but also does a bunch of stuff on social media and does some investment properties.
He has a really, really good social media. Where he goes over some of the different ways to expand on different types of business. It’s not even just general contracting or investing. It’s pretty much everything to do with construction or just in general. So welcome.
Thank you. Thanks for having me, I’m excited to be here.
Yeah, and we actually met I did a notarization for you and I believe you were in the airport, was it?
Yeah, I was traveling, I don’t remember where I was traveling to, but I remember we had that closing, I was in the airport, and yeah, it was great.
Yeah, yeah, well good, glad to hear it, cause yeah, I was always curious and I remember going over the questions and I think you were at luggage check, but I mean everything was fine
That’s the cool part about the online notaries right like literally can do it from anywhere so that’s pretty rad.
Yeah good so on my channel, we talk a lot about different streams of income and I know that you talk about that a lot too.
But let’s scroll back a little bit and how did you get started as the general contractor and expand to your business to how it is now?
Yeah, yeah, definitely. So I got started, I’d say about six, seven years ago. I was a server before I got into real estate and general construction. My mom had actually started a general contracting company.
But it was more of a side hustle at the time. She, I mean, she did, you know, what she had to do to get ahead. She’s an immigrant from Columbia. We all are. We immigrated here in 99. I was six years old. So she started that business. I was serving at the time and I was kind of just like lost in life. I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
As a young child, I wanted to become a professional soccer player. So when that dream kind of went away, I was honestly stuck and didn’t know. where to pivot to. So yeah, I started in the construction field. I, you know, she offered me, you know, jobs and I would actually do demolitions at first. So I was doing the full get demos and I quickly realized that that is not something I wanted to do full time.
So I started learning the business a little bit more and then just putting in what’s here and there. And eventually when I took the reins, it took about 10 months and I took my family’s company from 500, 000 revenue a year to 5 million dollars in revenue a year in about 10 months. So, in those 10 months you know, I got a mentor who was a wholesaler, real estate developer flipper and, you know, pretty much just real estate general.
And I learned from him and I just started implementing all those things into the general construction industry. And then from there we started flipping, we started wholesaling a little bit, building new, and then really became like an actual general contracting company, from there. And then those relationships and those tips and tricks that I found, I ended up meeting my current partner, which we have a development company.
So we focus on ramped up development, multifamilies, apartment complexes, mixed use, that kind of stuff. And currently we’re working on 108 units out in Newark, Ohio. And then another 95 ish in new Albany, Ohio. So that’s what takes up most of my time. But I still have the general contracting company.
That’s our bread and butter. That’s where my whole family now works at, you know, my sisters, my father, my mother. So we’re, it’s a family company still. That’s really what our added value is in the real estate industry. But that has helped us leverage our skillset. To get construction costs lower for our fleet, for our rentals and stuff like that.
Yeah, then lastly you know, so now, you know, I’ve got the general contracting, I’ve got the development company and then we also do long term and short term management for rentals. So a little portfolio, we manage other people’s portfolio. My wife runs the short term side and my sister runs the long term side and I kind of just fill in everywhere.
That’s cool. Oh, I didn’t know that. Ten months. Ten months is… It’s a very short period of time. Do you have any tips as to like how you built your business? Cause that’s, that’s insane. That’s insane.
I personally think it comes down to one self belief, self discipline, and then getting yourself around the right people.
When I hired that mentor, he oh just opened my eyes. It was a shortcut, right? Instead of me going through, you know, failing and learning. You know, I still fail. I still learn. But a lot of those got skipped because I was able to talk to someone and know someone who already had failed at certain things. So I was able to kind of jump those hoops quicker.
And that’s really how I’d scale. Just implementing what has worked for other people into my business. And I just opened my eyes and we just went.
That’s crazy. That’s crazy. That’s good. Yeah. Yeah, because we, so when I first started, I didn’t really realize that like I was my own business as far as the notary and it’s been a sharp learning curve to figure out like, okay, I’m my own business.
I have to get this figured out and then scale it. As I go, but that is. Crazy. Congratulations. That’s really, really good. Do you have any advice for people that are trying to scale?
Yeah. I mean, don’t scale chaos. That’s definitely something I did. Like, you know, it was cool to, to go that quickly and, and all that.
However you know, I did find myself in a situation where, you know, scaling that quickly does scale a little bit of chaos. And, you know, it definitely had some learning curves as well. So just make sure that as you’re scaling, you’re not just trying to scale to scale. You’re scaling with your business as it, as it grows, you’re growing with it.
Versus just saying yes to everybody taking on as much business as possible. Cause then there’s going to be times that you can’t perform because you’re only one person or five people or however many people. Workload is, you know, matching the quality. Yeah. And then second tip would be just get around people that you want to…
You want to be like, and you know, that are in your industry, right? So I went to a lot of real estate developer and investor meetups and that’s where I found all of my clients, right? So we had like two or three clients that were giving us that five hundred ish thousand a year of work And then I went to a couple events started telling people what I did. Because I was a contractor and most of those meetups were for investors.
It was like one to a hundred, right? Like I was the only one that had what they needed Versus everybody, all those guys, they were all investors. So they couldn’t really help. They can help each other, but they weren’t really able to provide the services to each other. So, you know, I just basically grabbed that pool of investors and I started working for about like 10 people, like within a month, and then each of those people had like five to 10 jobs each.
So that’s how it scaled really, really quickly.
Yeah. Well, that’s really smart too. Is that something that you just kind of thought of, or is that something that your mentor kind of was like, Hey, go to these things because…
So he had an event. And I just went to it because he was, you know what I mean? Like he went… So the way I met him is he lent me money because I was in a situation where I was doing my first two flips and story short, I need like 60 grand to close this deal. And it was like two days away, money. So I started calling everybody in my phone book and someone referred me to him. Once he lent me the money so quickly, within like 24 hours, and like, he’s younger than me, I was like, who is this guy?
And I started researching a little bit more, and I realized like, this guy knows what’s up. So as soon as we had like an event, I was there. I just went immediately, because I was like, you know, they obviously know something I don’t. And that’s how it kind of started. And I just started signing up for more and more events, so that I could get around those people.
Yeah. No, I agree because I think that once you start getting around people in the same mindset and like the same kind of growth pattern as you and like thought process, it really does open your mind to a lot of stuff because you know, if you’re around a lot of people that are like, Oh, well, no, you can’t do that.
Be realistic. And you know, that’s, that doesn’t make any sense. It’s like, sometimes it doesn’t make sense. You just got to do it. And then it kind of works out. So.
Absolutely. Yeah, 100%, 100%. That’s exactly how it works. Yes, exactly.
Okay. So I had a different question because this is mostly going to be watched, I think by notaries. What kind of documents usually do you have for your construction?
So for my construction on the larger scale stuff, like the commercial jobs, when there’s, you know, we’re talking multi million dollar builds when I’m subcontracting some of those items you know, I have to get my pay sheet notarized.
Okay. So basically when I send an invoice, I need to notarize that invoice. And this is only on the large scale ones, the residential, you really. Don’t usually have to do that. But for the, but for the like paid, like we call pay schedules, the invoices or whatever, they definitely need notarized. So that’s on the construction side.
On the investing side, we always need mortgages, notes, promissory notes, closing documents, all, I mean, everything to do with lending. You definitely need those notarized.
Okay. And then how do you suggest notaries get in front of people like you or to, you know, start doing business with you?
What I would say is more than direct to, I guess we’ll call it, I’ll call myself a consumer of the notary. And more than us, you should hit up title companies because they’re the ones that set that up. Right. So like we met because we were set up through the title company. Right? Like I didn’t reach out directly to you.
So I would say reach out to as many title companies as you can. Take whoever out to lunch, go to those events and then go to investor events too, because usually where there’s investor events, there’s title companies, there’s lenders, and you can get on some sort of preferred list where they’ll be shooting you that business.
Yeah, I think that’s a good idea too. And then I’ve found a lot of benefit to going to like construction events too. Because it’s the same thing as what you were saying with like going to investments, like they’re not going to really invest with each other per se, but if you’re the only general contractor, so if I go to a construction event and I’m the only notary, especially with RON for the most part, anytime that I’ve gone, nobody has heard about RON, like, had you, had you heard about RON before?
I had just because of COVID, but after COVID was starting to phase out, there are some title companies and it really actually comes down to the lender. So if the lender wants a wet signature, RON’s kind of out of the question. But I feel like a lot of people just with the technology we have today. It’s hard to not use RON, right?
Yeah, yeah, no, I agree because there’s, you’re not the only one that has had like things where stuff is happening in the background or like you’re at the airport or like I’ve had it… my favorite probably was there was someone on the side of a mountain at a ski resort doing a home closing and I’m like, all right, like, you know, like we got it taken care of, but yeah,
life doesn’t really stop for home closings or like notice of commencements or things like that. And especially for me, after the hurricane, there was a ton of people that were needing notice of commencements and they were all up north. So then all of the contractors were talking to me or our team to be able to get those taken care of but yeah, I think marketing towards title companies is probably going to be everybody’s best bet 100%
There’s gonna be the most notarized documents, right?
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well, I think did you have any other things that you wanted to kind of go over? How do we how do we oh, No, no.
No, wait. I had a question. So you do social media. Do you find value, like have you been able to make either meaningful connections or gotten good partnerships from social media for people that might be on the fence?
Yeah, so, you know, let me back, start by saying, you know, when I first was pushed because I was pushed into social media.
By my mentor I was just like, man, I don’t know about all this stuff. You know what I mean? I don’t know if I want to be out there like that. But through his guidance, we started doing it and it takes a while. It’s not an overnight thing. Like you gotta just post and know that. No one’s really watching.
No one’s really caring that much until they do. So just post for you, obviously, honestly, like that was, that’d be like my number one thing post for you. And then eventually it comes, but I have had private money lenders come out of social media. I’ve had meaningful connections. I’ve had partnerships.
I’ve had JV deals, all those things, because as people start following you and seeing what you’re doing, they’re going to become interested in it. Right. One, you’re a resource to, you kind of establish yourself as a professional. So when people have questions, they reach out. And as you start adding that value, you’re not going to see an ROI right away, but eventually you will see an ROI on it.
So yeah, like I said, I mean, I’ve been able to raise money because people follow me on social media, you know, be able to JV deals and stuff like that. So just make sure you’re posting content. At first, it’s just about putting it out there and then you want to niche down and really like provide that value.
Yeah, because I mean, in the very beginning, I didn’t want to, It’s awkward it’s weird, you know, and it’s like, I’m over here in my office all by myself, like, “Hi, guys!”, you know, like, But, I mean, to your point though, I’m not in the construction industry and I watched your carpenter thing about how in 2023, that’s going to be like one of the biggest things, like, okay, you know, I don’t, but I know a lot of people that are going into these industries.
Like I know the construction industry in case they’re, you do provide value and I am invested, even though I’m not in the construction industry. So it works.
I appreciate that. Yeah, no, I mean, that’s, that’s what it’s all about. And I’m sure down the line we’ll. If you ever have someone that needs to know more and stuff like that, you’ll send them my way and who knows what, what comes out of that.
So how do we find more? Because I’m sure there’s going to be people that are more interested in your line of work too, because it’s not like you provide a lot of value on your social media in general. How do we find you?
I throw some videos up on there, just Esteban Ceron and then same with Facebook. So just my name and then Don at the front for a couple of them.
Well, thank you. And then we are going to, I think cut it there, but thank you guys so much for watching. And I appreciate it.
Yeah. Awesome. Thank you again for having me.